Cheltenham Festival organisers have banned a group of race-goers after two professional footballers in the party were pictured allegedly urinating into pint glasses and then tossing the contents on the crowd from their private box. Race organisers said on Wednesday (March 16) they have cancelled the players' second day booking at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival.
MK Dons star Samir Carruthers and Northampton Town striker James Collins are among those being investigated by their respective clubs following the release of images at the horse reaching event.
The images, which appeared in the Daily Mirror, also showed Collins, currently on loan from Shrewsbury, throwing a liquid over the balcony at the VIP area. Players from Championship side Bristol Rovers were also pictured at the festival.
Cheltenham Festival confirmed it has cancelled a booking for footballers. The organisers said via Twitter: "In regards to images of inappropriate behaviour from yesterday, we have cancelled their booking for today [16 March]. It is not known how many of the footballers involved in the incident were due to attend the second day.
A spokesperson for MK Dons, who sit just one place above the relegation zone in the Championship, said: "The club is aware of pictures circulating in the national media of one of its players at the Cheltenham Festival. The club has commenced an internal investigation into the matter."
League Two side Northampton Town added: "Northampton Town Football Club have launched an investigation into claims that forward James Collins, currently on loan from Shrewsbury Town, was involved in a drunken incident at Cheltenham racecourse.
"As a club we take any such claims extremely seriously, and we expect the highest standards of behaviour at all times. We are unable to comment further until this investigation has been completed."
Bristol City's Luke Ayling was also pictures with the other footballers but is not thought to be connected with the "inappropriate behaviour". The Championship club said in a statement: "We are aware of the disappointing images from the Cheltenham Festival that have been printed in various national newspapers this morning. We will be speaking to the players concerned and will take appropriate action where necessary."
A police spokesman said no action would be taken although it criticised the act as unacceptable.
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